BIM - Building Information Modelling
BIM Is About Information
BIM stands for Building Information Modelling, however we believe that the true power of BIM is harnessed by extracting the data held in the BIM model and using it to manage the project better. It’s all about “Information” – gathering, storing and exchanging of information, within a construction environment, in the most efficient way, through its whole life cycle. The BIM model is created by the design and construction team collaboratively using a coherent set of data rich 3D computer models instead of separate sets of 2D drawings and specifications. This approach ensures that the project has a fully coordinated and accurate set of construction documentation.
Our BIM History
Having worked in 3D for over 15 years we have seen the gradual evolution of embedding data into 3D models and we embraced the concept early on. Indeed Tim Ball contributed chapter to a book called BIM in Small Practices: Illustrated Case Studies to share the work we had done by 2014 with the wider architectural community. Since then we have developed our BIM use much further, taking advantage of the constant improvement of the software and file interoperability now available.
Why Have We Adopted BIM?
To give our clients a world-class service. By adopting BIM we can help our clients bring their projects to life and push design boundaries to create better projects. It is widely recognised that much of the cost of buildings is incurred during its operating life. BIM offers invaluable information to end-users to manage the lifetime costs of a building adding significant value to our service. BIM increases productivity, reduces project time and energy use costs, and tangibly improves the end product.
What Does BIM Look Like?
If you would like to see example files show the information that can be extracted from a BIM model, please email us and we will send you examples. See also our video on our 3D design page for a taster and a look at a real 3D construction file in your browser.
How Do We Use BIM For Construction Documents?
We use a system that creates a 3D virtual building so that we build once to create the mode inside the computer, so that when work starts on site, we have already built a prototype. That results in better clash avoidance and sequencing, fewer variations and less rework, all of which are major causes of cost and time overruns. We believe that you can't fake it in 3D and that means we have great confidence in the build-ability of all our projects.
The same 3D information is used to create the conventional 2D drawings required to show the contractor what they need to build so that the 2D drawings are a true reflection of the 3D model. We do not add any 2D information to the drawings. The result is a coherent set of intelligent 3D computer models instead of separate sets of 2D drawings.
In addition we embed our specification data into each 3D element, so that every item can be included in the scheduling that the builder uses to price the work. We believe that the true power of BIM is harnessed by extracting the data held in the BIM model in this way and using it to manage the project better. It’s all about “Information” - gathering, storing and exchanging of information, within a construction environment, in the most efficient way, through its whole life cycle.
There is a perception that BIM is only used by large companies on complex, high profile, multi-million pound projects for large scale clients. But that’s not the case. You don’t have to be big to ‘do’ BIM. We can demonstrate through our own experience that the value of using BIM applies equally to all sizes of projects.
How Do We Use BIM On Site?
We now run most of our projects using free software called BIMX Docs where the contractor has access to all the data on their tablet or smartphone. This combines the 3D model; 2D drawings; Specification and Web Hyperlinks all in the same file.
We have had a very positive response from contractors who not only value the single information source, but also the ability to look in 3D to find out what our design intention is and enable then to build more accurately and get it right first time.